Happy Thursday Nova Nation! Yesterday Sports Illustrated continued a series that looks at the possible one-and-done candidates in the Class of 2019. #16 and #17 on their list were non other than Villanova’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antoine. They along with Justin Moore, Eric Dixon, and Chris Arcidiacono make up Villanova’s freshman class, which just arrived back on campus this week:
Our freshman are settled in and ready to go in The Pavilion !! pic.twitter.com/qjaiy3Io1P— Jay Wright (@VUCoachJWright) August 21, 2019
The article posits that both freshmen will earn spots in the starting five (once Antoine fully recovers of course), with Antoine at SG and Robinson-Earl at SF. They project the returning starters from last season to round out the starting rotation with Gillespie at PG, Bey at SF, and Samuels at C.
While that lineup is certainly possible and would fit Jay Wright’s preferred style of positionless basketball, I’m skeptical if that will ever become Villanova’s regular starting lineup next season. Don’t get me wrong, I would have bet a significant amount of money on this as the starting lineup before Antoine’s injury. But even if he’s 100% ready to go to start the season, I think things play out differently.
First off, Wright puts a lot of reliance on experience. His expectations are high, as is the difficulty of picking up his offense and defense in just two months. He’ll probably simplify things a bit given the youth of this team (Villanova ranks 179th in experience per KenPom), but he’ll still want to rely on the guys that have been there before. Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, Saddiq Bey, and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree have all started at least 17 games for Villanova, and that experience will be needed this year in the starting five. I also think that Robinson-Earl’s versatility and skill will be polished enough to beat out the rest of the front court competition, earning him the final spot. That puts Gillespie at PG, Samuels at SG (as he was at the Pan-Am Games), Bey at SF, Robinson-Earl at PF, and Cosby-Roundtree at C.
As for Antoine, even at 100% he’ll have missed an entire summer’s worth of conditioning and workouts. With a deep roster, Wright can have the luxury of working him in slowly to find a rhythm on both ends of the court. I’m actually expecting Antoine’s role, at least minutes wise, to resemble Donte DiVincenzo in 2018. He wasn’t on the floor to start the games, but he finished the season 3rd on the team in minutes and was always on the court to close out games (unless it was a blowout). Antoine probably has the most potential of any player on this team, it’s just a matter of how quickly he can reach it.
Who are your starting five for the 2019-2020 season? Who’s your dark horse candidate to break into the top of the rotation? Let me know your answers in the comments below.
In other “news”, Josh Hart beats up on the Lakers (in a video game), Villanova Football is revving up for the season opener, and Women’s Soccer kicks off today at home against LSU. Enjoy!
Villanova basketball gains Jeremiah Robinson Earl, Bryan Antoine | SI.com
Can two of the highest-rated recruits in Villanova history help the Wildcats get back to contending for the national title?
Brian Hamilton’s Mailbag: Yoeli Childs’ suspension, catching up with Travis Ford, high-impact freshmen and more | The Athletic
Brian Hamilton answers subscribers' questions in his mailbag. That includes a guess at why Jay Wright is so successful.
Basketball Recruiting - Wednesday's Leftovers: Dishing on UK, Va. Tech, LSU, more | Rivals.com
Villanova has become known for its guard play, so saying that they will land a guard in the 2021 class, (that is if they don’t secure one this recruiting cycle, an option we covered last week), is far from a hot take.
Eric Paschall has best chance of Golden State Warriors rookies to produce | Blue Man Hoop
The Golden State Warriors will have three rookies in their 15, and of those three, Eric Paschall has the best chance to actually contribute.
NBA Rumors: Heat Could Acquire Kyle Lowry For Trade Package Centered On Tyler Herro, Per ‘Bleacher Report’ | Inquisitr
The Miami Heat put themselves in win-now mode when they acquired Jimmy Butler via a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 NBA free agency. However, with the emergence of ...
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FCS: The Villanova-Colgate season opener is going to be historic | Pro Football Network
The Villanova Wildcats and the Colgate Raiders face off in tantalizing FCS action on August 24. Here's a look at some of the talent in that contest.
College football preview: Villanova Wildcats | KYW
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Villanova Wildcats will kick off their 2019 football season on Saturday when they visit the Raiders of Colgate.
Villanova Football: Three-way battle for starting QB job ongoing as season opens | delcotimes.com
RADNOR — Back in the spring, there were plenty of seats available during meetings in the quarterback room at Villanova.
AUDIO: Andy Talley - Get in the Game | KYW Newsradio's 1-On-1 with Matt Leon
Andy Talley spent 32 years as the head football coach at Villanova University before retiring following the 2016 season. The Wildcats were one of the premier programs in all of FCS during his tenure, with the apex coming in 2009 when Villanova won the national championship. He sent several players to the NFL, including legendary Eagles running back Brian Westbrook.
Toughest CAA Non-Conference Schedules | Flo Football
Take an in-depth look at the Colonial Athletic Association teams non-conference schedules.
Villanova Women’s Soccer
Women’s Soccer Opens 2019 Season at Home vs. LSU and Saint Joseph’s | Villanova University Athletics
The Wildcats 2019 season will kickoff on Thursday afternoon at Higgins Soccer Complex against the LSU Tigers at 4:00 P.M. on BEDN. Following the season opener Villanova will host the Saint Joseph's Hawks for a Sunday afternoon game set to kickoff at 1:00 P.M. that can be seen on Nova Nation All-Access.
Villanova Women's Soccer 2019 Season Preview | Villanova University Athletics
The Villanova women's soccer team will begin their 2019 season Thursday afternoon against the LSU Tigers at Higgins Soccer Complex at 4:00 P.M. on BEDN.
Soccer Opens Up 2019 Against Villanova | LSUsports.net
The LSU soccer program will begin its 25th season of play on Thursday afternoon as they head to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on the Villanova Wildcats at 3 p.m. CT at the Higgins Soccer Complex.
Sprinter Lexi Elkovitch of New Albany Aquatic Club Chooses Villanova Wildcats | Swimming World News
Villanova University has earned a new verbal commitment for the 2020-21 season and beyond from freestyle sprinter Lexi Elkovitch of New Albany, Ohio.